ACCESS CEO, Evonne Paddison, has taken to the local weekly to hit back at FIRIS:

Her core argument is this:

So why is religious education suddenly viewed by some people as controversial? The opponents of SRI are a small, mostly inner-urban group driven by their own non-religious views. They are zealously pursuing the removal of all SRI for all faiths from all government schools. While it is one thing to decide that one’s own child should not participate in a voluntary SRI program, it is quite another to tell other parents, “we don’t want you to have that option for your child”, especially when there are more people of faith than not. Yet this is what is occurring.

At what point does repeating things like this just become lying?

Evonne never mentions that the AEU passed a resolution calling for the end of SRI during school hours.

Evonne never mentions the growing number of religious leaders, some from her own organization, who are calling for the end of SRI.

Evonne never mentions that the Chaplain at the flagship Anglican School and leading scholars on religious education have called for an end to SRI.

Evonne never mentions that up until August, the Department of Education required people to “opt out” of SRI – and it isn’t clear if they still do.

Evonne never mentions all the strong arming that her group does of schools who want to get rid of SRI.

It is fair to advocate for one’s views – but what Paddison does here is distort the facts around just who is opposed to her Ministry in Schools, and why.

At what point does advocacy for your position, simply become deception?

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